‘Unconscious’ Chelsea Gray Leads Las Vegas Aces to WNBA Finals

Chelsea Gray’s clutch shooting in Game 4 of the Aces’ 97-92 win over the Storm led to Las Vegas’ first Finals appearance since 2020.

Gray posted 31 points and 10 assists, becoming the first player in League history to top 30 points and 10 dimes per ESPN Stats and Information. Gray has averaged 24.0 points per game on 63 percent shooting from the field and 59.5 percent from beyond the arc.

“I don’t really know how,” Gray said of her hot shooting, per ESPN. “I’m going into my shots like I practice them. It’s not anything different.”

Gray’s transformation into the Aces’ closer came after Las Vegas lost Game 5 of their semifinal series against the Phoenix Mercury. Gray and recently crowned DPOY and MVP candidate A’ja Wilson texted about how to get over the hump, and the answer came in letting Wilson cook and dominate the ball often while Gray’s shot-making turned out to be the ultimate difference-maker in the fourth quarter that featured three ties and three lead changes.

“I just put the work in,” Gray said during her televised interview with Holly Rowe. “I’m so proud of this group; it’s been one helluva season, man. Shit, I don’t know how it went it I just know that it did.”

The 2016 champ knocked down three straight jumpers during the final 2:03 of Game 4, starting a short back-and-forth sequence where Las Vegas and Seattle switched leads before Gray hit her final two field goals of the night, including a 16-footer that gave the Aces a five-point lead in the final 30.7 seconds of the game they wouldn’t surrender.

“I don’t think anyone on planet Earth can guard her,” Seattle Coach Noelle Quinn said. “She was unconscious. We did a lot of things this series to try to slow her down. You limit her scoring; she has the ability to pass and play make. She’s an incredible player.

“I think that our team did a very good job of trying to limit her, but I think she’s been on a roll; and when a player’s on a roll like that, it’s very hard to stop.”

The semifinal series between the Aces and Storm will likely be considered a classic in WNBA history. Just one of the four games was decided by more than five points (Game 3), and that contest went to overtime after Jackie Young sank a buzzer-beating layup to force an extra period.

Las Vegas’ series-clinching win avenged their Finals loss to Seattle in 2020 and validates their regular-season finale win over Seattle during Sue Birds’ final home game at Climate Pledge Arena.